11/23/2018, 13.50
PAKISTAN
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Church condemns Karachi attack on the Chinese consulate

This morning, three bombers tried to break into the diplomatic mission, located in the Clifton district. There are no victims among the employees. The Pakistani Foreign Minister praises the timely response of the agents. The city is the commercial heart of Pakistan and a strategic route for Beijing's goods.

Karachi (AsiaNews) - Three bombers attempted to break into the Chinese consulate in Karachi, southern Pakistan, around 9:30 am (local time), but were arrested and killed by local police. Two policemen also died in the shootout with the terrorists.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack, while Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi praised the timely response of the agents who foiled the attack. Speaking to AsiaNews Fr. Saleh Diego, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Karachi, condemns "in the name of the whole Catholic Church the act of the attackers, who have taken the lives of innocent people. We pray for our country, so that peace and harmony may prevail ".

According to agency sources, all the employees of the consulate, which is also the residence of the Beijing diplomats in Pakistan, are doing well and are safe. As soon as the shots were heard, Consul General Wang Yu and all the staff were transferred to the main compound building. At the end of the armed confrontation, the security forces seized a large quantity of ammunition and explosives. Also Fr. Diego confirms that the attack "remained confined in the enclosure and now the situation has returned to normal".

The three men opened fire on one of the entrances to the compound, located in the Clifton area, home to various diplomatic missions, foreign schools and luxury restaurants. There are no official claims of responsability yet, although the New York Times reports that a Twitter account close to the Baluchistan Liberation Army, wrote that three of its members "have embraced martyrdom in an attack against the Chinese consulate ".

The attack assumes significant importance in the economic relations between China and Pakistan. The city of Karachi, with its 15 million inhabitants, is the largest in the country and also its commercial heart. Located on the coast, it takes on strategic importance in Beijing's commercial projects, which is sponsoring a series of development programs and infrastructures for the Chinese New Silk Road. Together with the port of Gwadar, the terminus of the Sino-Pakistani Economic Corridor (Cpec, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), the city is among the first beneficiaries of the 62 billion dollars allocated by China for its initiatives.

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